Migraine Relief

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What has been your most effective migraine relief?

If only it were that simple...

It varies based on the circumstances. The fastest most complete relief for me has been Sumatriptan, when it works. It either helps completely or not at all. I know that taking it too late makes it ineffective but it also fails to work about 30% of the time with an unknown reason. Also it can only be taken twice/day, 4 times a week or 9 times a month because of its effect on serotonin.

The most reliable help is an ice pack, but relief is rarely complete. However, when at home I can leave an ice pack on my head all day, changing it as it warms, and feel no pain while it is in place.

Promethazine (brand name Phenergan) is an anti-nausea medicine but it can treat the whole migraine syndrome as well. It causes sedation so I can't use it unless I can go to bed. The sedation can be a very good thing though, if I don't have things that must get done. After a full sleep cycle I generally wake pain free even if I've taken nothing, but pain keeps me awake without the promethazine. If I take it but don't actually sleep it will work anyway 90% of the time.

I used naproxen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), for years. For an over the counter pain reliever it is very effective and is available in combination with sumatriptan by prescription. (The drug company put the two medicines together when brand name sumatriptan [Imitrex] was going off patent so they could continue to charge brand name prices.) Used for decades, naproxen can cause kidney damage, which I have, so I can no longer use it. Analgesics aren't a good idea for migraines anyway. They lead to chronic daily headaches because of rebound.

I wish I could tell you that "X" is most effective. Unfortunately, that simplicity has just not been the case for me.


What is the proper dosage and strength for Petadolex for migraine relief: 7.5% or 15% petasites?

Petadolex contains minimum of 15% petasin. The two randomized controlled studies that were completed in adult migraine patients tested 50 mg and 75 mg twice daily. Patients who took 75 mg twice daily, as a group, had fewer migraine attacks than those who took placebo. The 50 mg group had results that were in between placebo and 75 mg groups. That said, not every patient will necessarily do better with the 75 mg twice daily, compared to 50 mg.


What does it feel like to take niacin for migraine relief?

Niacin is more a prophylaxis, it doesn't treat an acute migraine. It is a really good supplement for any neurological issue. I also like Vitamin D3. I am not a "supplement person" in general, but it does kind of give me an energy boost, and my neuro said that is common.

If you are allowed to use it, Excedrin is a much better OTC treatment. Just be careful of rebound headaches.


Is it possible to get relief from migraines or extremely bad headaches by taking Adderall?

Yes, it does gives relief.

But, along with comes a package of side-effects:

Side Effects

The side effects of Adderall vary widely, depending on the individual. Adderall’s effect on the body’s heart rate can lead to cardiovascular problems, such as disrupted heart rhythm and increased blood pressure. Users may also experience loss of appetite, which can lead to excessive weight loss and related issues. Other potential side effects include headaches, dryness of the mouth and difficulty sleeping.

In addition to the above, people who use Adderall as a recreational drug are at severe risk of further complications if they mix it with alcohol. Due to the fact that Adderall counterbalances some of the common signs of excessive alcohol consumption, it is very easy to succumb to alcohol poisoning without any prior warning. There are further complications possible if Adderall and alcohol are mixed, given that both Adderall and alcohol have dehydrating properties and that alcohol is a depressant, which can aggravate the psychological issues associated with the withdrawal from Adderall.

Due to its stimulating properties, Adderall can cause smokers to crave cigarettes substantially more than they usually do, thereby increasing their risk of smoking-related illnesses.

Long-Term Effects of Adderall

Using Adderall over an extended period can increase the risk of critical cardiovascular problems and strokes. There are also significant mental health issues associated with the long-term use of Adderall, such as depression, hostility and paranoia. In children, protracted use of Adderall may inhibit growth.